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Library Services FAQs: Home

Key information about using University of Southampton Libraries

Visiting the Libraries 

University students and staff are welcome to visit any of our libraries. Please remember to bring your University card for swipe entry and check our opening hours as they may vary. 

Contact with any questions. 


I am not a member of the University, can I visit the Library? 

Visitors over 18 are welcome to use our libraries for study space or to browse the shelves. Please bring photo ID to show at the library helpdesk. If you are under 18 and would like to visit one of our libraries, please contact with your enquiry. 

Our computer workstations are only available to University staff and students, but you can connect your own device to the free WiFi Guest service. Visitors wishing to make photocopies of items can do so by clicking Register as a New Guest User, then login to any of the photocopiers (multi-functional devices) in the library. Library staff will be happy to help you if you need assistance. Printing is not available to visitors. 

SCONUL Access is a scheme which allows many university library users to borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme. Find out more on our SCONUL Access page. 


Food and drink 

You are welcome to bring hot and cold covered drinks into the libraries. There is a cafe inside Hartley Library, along with microwaves, a hot water tap, cold water dispensers and snack vending machines. 

Loans and Borrowing 

Requesting books held in Library stock

You can request books that are available in the libraries, or on loan to other users, via the Click & Collect (Hold) option in our catalogue: login to your account, and search for the book you need. If there is a list of results, select the record for the appropriate book and click Click & Collect (Hold) on the left of the screen. 
We will let you know by email when your book(s) are ready and you can collect them when the library is open. You must receive the confirmation email before you come to collect your books. Books must be collected within 3 days of the confirmation email being received. Please bring your University ID card to issue the books on the self-issue machines. 

Postal loans 

You can also request books to be sent to you via our postal loans service.


Requesting a digitised chapter or book extract

You can request a digitised chapter for your personal use using our document supply service. 
Use our interlibrary loan service to request books, journal articles or other material that we do not have in our collections. Please email to make book purchase suggestions. 
 Find out more about borrowing books on our Loans & Borrowing guide. 


Returning books 

You can return books to any of our libraries when they are open, and to the Hartley letterbox at any time. 
If you are in the UK but away from Southampton you can use our free postal returns service. 

Accessing ebooks and online resources from off campus 

Your Subject Guide lists key resources, including databases to search for journal articles and our library catalogue
 Our PressReader subscription gives you access to over 7,000 newspapers and magazines from the UK and around the world. 
 See our Using your online Library webpages. Student Disability and Inclusion, and Accessible study spaces 


Student Disability & Wellbeing, and Accessible study spaces 

Student Disability & Wellbeing provide support for students with disabilities, mental health conditions or specific learning differences. 
The Assistive Technology (AT) Suite is the main area for assistive technology facilities within the University. It is located at Highfield Campus in Hartley Library (Level 2, Room 2047) and is available during normal library opening hours. Please contact Student Disability and Inclusion to find out more. Please contact if you have any questions on accessing the library or library resources. 


Archives and Rare Books Searchroom service  

The Archives and Rare Books searchroom service is now open Tuesday-Thursday 1000-1600. 

All visits are by prior appointment. Visitors must book their visit and order their material at least 1 working day in advance.